Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 12:14

"Behold, He tears down, and it cannot be rebuilt; He imprisons a man, and there can be no release.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Atheism;   God;   Philosophy;   Religion;   The Topic Concordance - God;   Government;   Nations;   Strength;   Wisdom;  
Dictionaries:
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He breaketh down - He alone can create, and he alone can destroy. Nothing can be annihilated but by the same Power that created it. This is a most remarkable fact. No power, skill, or cunning of man can annihilate the smallest particle of matter. Man, by chemical agency, may change its form; but to reduce it to nothing belongs to God alone. In the course of his providence God breaks down, so that it cannot be built up again. See proofs of this in the total political destruction of Nineveh, Babylon, Persepolis, Tyre, and other cities, which have broken down never to be rebuilt; as well as the Assyrian, Babylonian, Grecian, and Roman empires, which have been dismembered and almost annihilated, never more to be regenerated.

He shutteth up a man - He often frustrates the best laid purposes, so that they can never be brought to good effect.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 12:14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Behold, he breaketh down - None can repair what he pulls down. Cities and towns he can devote to ruin by fire, or earthquake, or the pestilence, and so completely destroy them that they can never be rebuilt. We may now refer to such illustrations as Sodom, Babylon, Petra, Tyre, Herculaneum, and Pompeii, as full proof of what is here affirmed.

He shutteth up a man - He can shut up a man in such difficulties and straits that he cannot extricate himself; see Job 11:10. The Chaldee renders this, “he shuts up a man in the grave (בקבורתא ) and it cannot be opened.” But the more correct idea is, that God has complete control over a man, and that he can so hedge up his way that he cannot help himself.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 12:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-12.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again,.... Which some restrain to the tower of Babel; but though the builders of it were obliged to desist from building, it does not appear that it was broken down, but seems to have continued many ages after: others more probably refer it to the destruction of Sodom, as Sephorno, which was an utter destruction, a perpetual desolation, and that city never was rebuilt to this day; and the same may be observed of many other cities that have had their foundations razed up, and have never been rebuilt, Thebes, Tyre, &c. and as will be the case of Rome, or the great city of Babylon, when once destroyed; yea, this has been true of kingdoms and states, such as Jeremiah was to root out, pull down, and destroy; that is, by prophesying of their destruction, as the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, and others, whose names and nations are no more, see Jeremiah 1:10; and the four monarchies broken down and destroyed, and made as the chaff of the summer threshing floor, by the kingdom of Christ, Daniel 2:35; and may be exemplified in particular persons and families; in Job and his family, the Lord broke him with breach upon breach; he broke him in his estate and substance; he broke down the hedge about him, and exposed him to thieves and robbers that plundered him of his substance; he broke down his family, that had been so largely and happily built up, by taking away his children by death; and he broke his constitution by diseases, afflictions, and sorrows, to which Job may have here respect, when he at this time never expected to have his losses in his substance, and in his family, and in his health, repaired, as they were; nor could it have been done without the will and pleasure of God; and oftentimes, when such breaches are made, there is no reparation; a man's wealth, and health, and family, are never built up again:

he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening; if he shut up a man in a prison, there is no opening the doors of it to let out unless he pleases; whether it be the prison of sin, in which all are concluded, in the fetters and with the cords of which they are held, and will continue, unless those shackles are broken off by powerful and efficacious grace, and the Lord proclaims liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound, and gives it; or whether it be the prison of the law, in which sinners are shut up, and held as condemned malefactors; there is no deliverance from it but by Christ, who has redeemed his people from the curse and condemnation of it; and by his Spirit, as a spirit of adoption, who delivers them from the bondage of it, and makes them free indeed; or whether it be the prison of afflictions, straits, and difficulties in life, with which even good men are surrounded, being bound in fetters, and holden in cords of affliction; there is no opening for them, or getting out of them, unless the Lord breaks their bands asunder, and brings them out of darkness and distress, as out of prison houses, and so opens and makes a way for their escape; or whether he shuts them up, and they are so straitened in their souls that they cannot come forth in the free exercise of grace, and discharge of duty, as it was with Heman, when he said, "I am shut up, and I cannot come forth", Psalm 88:8; and as it was with David, when he prayed, "bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name", Psalm 142:7; there is no opening for them till the spirit of the Lord opens their hearts and their graces, and brings them forth into exercise; and "where he is there is liberty", 2 Corinthians 3:17; or if he shuts up a man in the grave, as the Targum paraphrases it, brings him to the house appointed for all living, and locks him up in it; there can be no opening for him till the resurrection morn, when Christ, who has the keys of hell and death, will unlock the graves, and the dead shall come forth, as Lazarus did at his call, John 11:43, or if "he shuts upon a man"F18על איש "super virum", Montanus, Mercerus, Bolducius; "super viro", Schmidt, Michaelis. , as the words may be rendered; shuts the gates of heaven upon a man, as the door into the marriage chamber of the Lamb will be shut upon and against the foolish virgins, as well as profane sinners, there can be no opening, cry as long as they will; see Matthew 25:10; and as God shut the door of Eden, or the earthly paradise, against Adam, when he drove him out, Genesis 3:23, to which Sephorno refers this passage; or if the Lord shuts up a man in hell, there is no opening, no way of escape from thence. We read of "spirits in prison", 1 Peter 3:19, which is to be understood not of the limbus or purgatory of the Papists, but of hell; and these "spirits" are the disobedient in the times of Noah, who dying, or being swept away with the flood, were cast into hell, where they have lain ever since, and will lie unto the judgment of the great day; between the place of the damned, and of the happy, in Abraham's bosom, is a great gulf, that there is no passing from one to the other, which is the immutable and unalterable decree of God, which has fixed the everlasting states of men, Luke 16:26.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 12:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-12.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

shutteth up — (Isaiah 22:22). Job refers to Zophar‘s “shut up” (Job 11:10).

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 12:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-12.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.

No opening — Without God's permission. Yea, he shuts up in the grave, and none can break open those sealed doors. He shuts up in hell, in chains of darkness, and none can pass that great gulf.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 12:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-12.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 12:14 Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.

Ver. 14. Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again] As he did the old world, Sodom and Gomorrah, many monarchies and empires, the tower of Babel, and other castles and houses which now live by fame only, if at all. If God have a mind to ruin these, who shall raise or repair them? Julian, the apostate, in spite of the Christians, set the Jews to work to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem, but they could never effect it by reason of a terrible earthquake, that slew the workmen and marred the materials (Am. Marcel., Socrat. 3, Theod., Ruffin.). The Arian bishops held a second council at Nice, with the purpose of having abolished the memory of the first together with the Nicene Creed, and to have established Arianism (Func.); but God disappointed them, and sent them packing thence by a huge earthquake, which overturned a great part of that city, and killed a number of people. Constans, nephew to Heraclius, the Greek emperor, and (three hundred years after him) Otho, emperor of Germany, endeavoured, but in vain, to make Rome the seat of their empires, as anciently it had been (Theophanes, Zonares, Cedrenus). God would not allow it so to be, saith Genebrard, because the kingdom of the Church, foretold by Daniel, was to have its seat there. If he had said, the kingdom of Antichrist, foretold by Paul and John the divine, he had hit the nail on the very head.

He shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening] He clappeth him up close prisoner, as Manasseh, Zedekiah, Bajazet, Boniface VIII, &c., or fasteneth him to his bed by some chronic disease (as he did Abimelech, Ahaziah, Asa, Aeneas, Acts 9:33), or otherwise straiteneth him, that he knows not how to help himself, as he did Pharaoh, Saul (when the Philistines were upon him on every side), those refractories in Isaiah, Isaiah 9:2, and shall do the whore of Babylon, Revelation 18:9-19, when her lovers shall bewail her, but not be able to help her, Job 12:9-10. For when God shutteth up any in this sort, they must lie by it till he please to release them and extricate them, as he did Joseph, Jehoshaphat, David, Peter, Valentinian, and many others, when they were even forsaken by their hopes.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 12:14". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-12.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He breaketh down, to wit, houses, castles, cities, which God designeth to destroy utterly.

He shutteth up; if he will shut up a man in prison, or in any straits or troubles.

There can be no opening, without God’s permission and providence.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 12:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-12.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

14.Shutteth up a man — In the sense of closing over. This is explained by the nature of the prisons among the Hebrews, which were subterranean excavations, whose mouth was covered with a stone. Lamentations 3:53. The Chaldee renders it, “He shuts man up in the grave, and it cannot be opened.”

Saint Gregory moralizes upon this clause: “Evil deeds build a prison for man in the depths of his conscience. Habit bars the doors, and blindness of understanding darkens the windows. Thus God shuts him in. If ever the desire arise to break forth from his dungeon, he is not able.” But all this tends to depreciate the grace of the gospel, which is powerful to break any prison bar that habit or appetite has forged.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 12:14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-12.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 12:14. Behold, he breaketh down — Houses, castles, cities; and it cannot be built again — It is not in the power of any creature to repair what he designs utterly to destroy. He shutteth up a man — In prison, or in straits and troubles; and there can be no opening — Without his permission and providence. Yea, he shuts up in the grave, and none can break open those sealed doors. He shuts up in hell, in chains of darkness, and none can pass that great gulf.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 12:14". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-12.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.

shutteth . . . opening. Hebrew idiom for exercising authority. Compare Revelation 3:7. Figure of speech Paroemia. App-6.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 12:14". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/job-12.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.

Shutteth up. "He shall open, and none shall shut; and He shall shut, and none shall open" (Isaiah 22:22). Job refers to Zophar's "shut up" (Job 11:10). The image is from the pits often used as prisons (Jeremiah 37:1-21; Jeremiah 38:6): the mouth was shut over the prisoner. Job's calamity is like such a pit-prison, in which he is shut without any hope of opening.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 12:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-12.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(14) Behold, he breaketh down . . .—God has equal power over the moral and physical world.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 12:14". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.
he breaketh
9:12,13; 11:10; Isaiah 14:23; Jeremiah 51:58,64; Malachi 1:4
he shutteth
16:11; 1 Samuel 17:46; 24:18; 26:8; *marg:; Isaiah 22:22; Romans 11:32; *marg:; Revelation 3:7
up
Heb. upon.
Reciprocal: Numbers 26:51 - General2 Chronicles 7:13 - If I shut up heaven;  Job 3:23 - hedged in;  Job 22:23 - built up;  Job 23:13 - who can;  Job 34:29 - who then can behold;  Psalm 88:8 - I am shut;  Ecclesiastes 7:13 - who;  Jeremiah 13:19 - shut;  Ezekiel 26:14 - be built;  Hosea 5:9 - Ephraim

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 12:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-12.html.